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7 vs 10 Gauge

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smlavin, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. smlavin

    smlavin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    Anyone have problems with a 10 gauge deck? I mean how much of a lick can a 10 gauge deck, with front reenforcement, take compared to a 7 gauge deck? Anyone ever back away from buying a mower with a 10 gauge deck due to a bad experience?
  2. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    I feel like the more guages you can get the better.
  3. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I feel it is all in design - A 10 guage that has well triangled support at the bottom of the skirt will outdo a 1/4 inch deck that does not have support. I say get a deck that mows good and go with it.

    If you plan on running into tree stumps all the time, and can't seem to miss all those obstacles out there, then maybe deck thickness will be important, but I have seen bent decks no matter how thick they are.
    MoWinmoneyy likes this.
  4. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    when i was shopping for my new machine, the 7 iron deck on my 737 is what sold me, the stronger the deck the better.
    its all a matter of opinion, i was impressed with the strength, i guess if you never get tough yards (i said yards not lawns) strength is not important.
    but if you get farm country type yards you better have a strong deck. :waving:
    chrissyboy likes this.
  5. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,458

    Large mowers are for mowing, not bush hogging.

    How many LCO's have ever blown out a mower deck? Down here in Florida we sand blast decks and see from 1200 to 1500 hours out of most decks. A Walker GHS blower housing will last from 150 to 500 hours because of the sand. I have seen welded decks blown out at 600 hours due to the quality of the grass being mowed. Sparse grass and weeds allow for sand blasting and we have several customers running 72" decks with low lift blades. High lift blades will last 2 days and low lifts will last 4 days when used on turf without irrigation.

    Buying a mower just because the deck is thicker is like buying a sledge hammer because it's bigger. The shape of the deck, the placement of the baffles and the design of the blades determine how well it will cut and how long it will last.

    When a deck hits a solid object the weakest part could bend or break. In extremely hard hits on thick decks the deck supports can be damaged and we have seen a few decks get warped. The thinner decks will bend in the impact area instead of warping and can usually be straightened. If a welded deck takes a hard hit the bent areas can be cut out along the seams and factory replacement deck parts can be welded in place. A slightly warped or very bent, thick, stamped deck is not going to be worth the time and effort to try repairing. Just order a new shell.

    The decks that seem to take the most abuse are welded with aluminum spindles and belt drives. The aluminum spindles will gernade without warping the top of the deck and belts are much cheaper than drive shafts and gear boxes.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, I'd like to add what no one has mentioned so far. Don't forget about the quality of steel and the Rockwell hardness. So far as I know, only Toro advertises theirs. Kudos Toro!

    I would also like to add that most welded 7 guage decks are only "so called" welded 7 guage decks. Most of them are actually square stamped/rolled 10 guage decks with 7 guage reinforcements. In other words they take a 10 guage sheet and stamp it to form the leading edge, top and rear skirt. It's notched and butt welded at the front skirt point ^ and 7 guage sides are welded on.

    The point is, don't get too taken in by all the hype, welded v/s stamped and guage v/s guage.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Good point there Envy. You also need to look at the top spindle re-enforcement plate. Dixie has the thickest deck top in the industry. Their basic deck is 10 guage steel and then they add a 1/4" steel plate to the top. I once shattered a cast iron spindle on my Dixie and the deck didn't give at all.
  8. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    Most mowers I see have a 10 guage top with with either a 10 guage plate or 7 guage plate bolted on and have 7 guage side skirts with reinforcements. A few exceptions to that that I can think of would be Bad Boy, Dixie Chopper, and John Deere.
  9. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 851

    Let us not forget that the 7 Iron deck is stamped and not welded therefore there are no welds to rust or give out, especially here in the coastal South. Sand is a decks worst enemy.
    southerntide likes this.
  10. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    thank you coastal, i was beginning to think i was alone on this one. :blob3:

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